Malaysian police says PAS president not deemed a threat after report alleges link to terror group

Deputy president of the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said allegations against the president of the party was a mere ploy to make Abdul Hadi Awang (pictured) "look like a terrorist".
Deputy president of the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said allegations against the president of the party was a mere ploy to make Abdul Hadi Awang (pictured) "look like a terrorist". PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK ) - The Malaysian police has said it is aware of an Arab news report that cited connections between an alleged terror group and the president of the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), Abdul Hadi Awang, but said that he has not been deemed as a threat.

Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun said he was aware of the report when contacted by The Star.

"As far as Malaysia is concerned, there is no threat from his (Hadi's) involvement in the group," Tan Sri Fuzi said.

He added that the police will be monitoring the developments.

In a statement released through the Saudi Press Agency on Friday (Nov 24), the Anti-Terror Quarter - which consists of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain - declared the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) a terror group.

Hadi is vice-president of the IUMS.

The Qatar-based IUMS was formed in 2004 and is headed by the influential Dr Yusuf Al-Qardawi, who has also been named by the Saudis for links to terrorism.

In June, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt had severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

The IUMS was one of two new entities, along with 11 individuals, which were added to the quartet's so-called 'terror list'.

The other entity was identified as the International Islamic Council, also known as Massaa. Eleven individuals were also named for their alleged role in supporting terrorism.

The report described the two listed entities as terrorist organisations working to promote terrorism through the exploitation of Islamic discourse and its use as a cover to facilitate various terrorist activities.

PAS has rejected the allegations.

The party's deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said it was a mere ploy to make Hadi "look like a terrorist". He said such allegations were baseless "just because Hadi is aligned with renowned Muslim scholar Dr Yusuf Al-Qardawi".

"The report is baseless and smells of a conspiracy. If that was the case, Hadi would have been arrested a long time ago," he said.

Hadi had earlier this week lashed out at Sunni-Shi'ite sectarianism, saying he would choose Qatar, Turkey and Iran over other Arab powers in the Middle East.

In a statement released on Saturday, Hadi responded  to the allegation and criticised the Saudi-led group for being friendly with Israel and Zionists instead of fellow Muslims.

"The terrorists list recently issued by the same countries that have severed ties with Qatar should not come as a surprise. The list among others include several Islamic organizations such as the World Islamic Scholars Union and the Islamic Council. They also listed several respected Muslim figures who are known for their moderate and reasonable Islamic opinions as terrorists. These are the same countries that are pursuing neutralization of relations with Israel... Such political association is akin to a ship sailing astray in the ocean vast," he said.

"To make things worse, they heavily punish countries with whom they share a common religion simply because of differing opinions," Hadi added.

PAS Ulama chief Mahfodz Mohamed said the Malaysian government had not listed IUMS as a terrorist organisation. "It is obvious that it is a malicious report to discredit the union that is led by Dr Yusuf, who has been branded a terrorist just because he is based in Qatar," he said.